Yes, we know you never, ever went there. Or, if you did, it was only because you had a friend in from out of town, and he simply insisted. Yeah, right: We saw you stuffing dollars into that G-string. In any case, now that Andersonville's go-go boy-haven Madrigal's has closed (it's relocating to the Big Easy), gay men won't exactly starve for eye candy. Whether you call them strippers, exotic dancers or go-go boys, get your dollars ready; we take a good, hard look at what's left of this city's ogle-opoly.
"Oh, you have dancers tonight!" we shrieked as we walked into this friendly Andersonville hang. The doorman looked at us like we were nuts. "If that's what you want to call that," he said, jerking his head toward the tiny stage, where a bikini-clad muscle man lifted his knees up and down, up and down, as if plodding through some sort of imaginary marsh. You want grace? Go to the Joffrey, we guess. With dancers Friday and Saturday nights starting at 10:30 p.m., and Sundays at 10 p.m., Atmosphere is the heir apparent to the Andersonville go-go boy scene. Rumor has it the bar's already called dibs on Madrigal's left-behind stud stable.
Let's give it up for Teri Yaki, the only drag queen in Chicago who can go head-to-head against three buff beauties and still have the crowd eating out of her-convincingly petite- hand. The talented hostess helps pump up the party during Thursday night's stripper soiree with giveaways, raffles (including a $50 grand prize), and drink specials ($4 Stoli cocktails and 'tinis). She's assisted by DJ Greg Drescher, who gives these boys-and you!-lots to groove to. The dancers include some faces you've probably seen around town (you do look at their faces, right?), but keep an eye out for the occasional big-name guest performer. 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
Talk about crack addiction! While the original Thursday-night go-go boy performance still packs 'em in, this smallish corner bar with a window onto the epicenter of Boystown currently boasts five nights of stripper seduction (Tuesday; Thursday through Sunday). Our favorite: Beach Ball Sunday, a theme party featuring a sweaty, Bermuda shorts-clad dancer in the front window desperately gyrating to lure passersby while a cohort on the back stage shakes like he's trying to get sand out of his bikini briefs. And while we could say something about all those beach balls hanging from the ceiling, we've run over our double entendre limit.
No one will mistake this well-worn go-go boy institution for Chippendale's; "A Night in Heaven" this ain't. (Oh, and like you're some sort of Christopher Atkins?) Still, the barstools are filled with mostly older gents who appreciate the banter the boys supply when they make rounds after on-stage swiveling. On weekends, all of this spot's four bars are open (who knew a place with such a tiny front door could get so large!) with a dancer at each. Monday through Thursdays performers start at 8 p.m., but if you need a little extra TGIF inspiration, the boys take the stage at 4 p.m. to help you kick off the weekend.
[ Chris LaMorte is a metromix producer. ]
firstname.lastname@example.org Originally published June 21, 2006.